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With all of our grapes now in the winery, and winemaking well underway, our 2021 Vintage is starting to take shape. And it’s certainly one to watch. Here’s what our winemakers had to say on the 2021 Vintage.

Overall, 2021 was an excellent year for Marlborough and for Sauvignon Blanc. An early Spring brought forward budburst but cold November rain drew out flowering and late frosts contributed to a lower than ideal fruit set. A dry January was followed by rain in March that assisted ripening, bringing the fruit to excellent condition. We started harvesting early, but not exceptionally so compared with recent vintages.

Sauvignon Blanc
Our Sauvignon Blancs are bursting with tropical fruits, perfumed thiols, displaying great depth and purity. Budburst was early in our Marlborough vineyards and fruit set light. After a wet start the season was very dry with average temperature.  As a result, we had a nice long ripening period even with an earlier harvest.

Light crops and a long ripening season have resulted in flavour and concentration. This year we see lots of ripe tropical and fruit salad notes. We’re also seeing plenty of perfumed thiols; Blackcurrant, Passionfruit, and Broom. We’re bottling the first of our Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc now, with our Black Label Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc still on lees, developing yet more weight and complexity. We’ll bottle that in a few months.

Pinot Noir
Low crops have resulted in some incredible tasting fruit across all three of the valleys we grow in.  Our Pinot Noirs are deeply coloured and flavoursome. They’re just starting their secondary, or malolactic, fermentation now.

Rosé + Pinot Gris
The Rosés are vibrant and our Pinot Gris are fresh and balanced.

Our Organic wines
We are thrilled with the quality of fruit coming from our Organic vineyards. The Sauvignon Blanc is displaying its typical characters (mineral, citrus, and spice) and showing real depth with layers of flavour. We will allow this to further develop on lees also.

Hawke’s Bay
Warm Spring temperatures brought forward flowering, kicking off the season early. A trend that continued with the earliest harvest we’ve ever had from Hawke’s Bay – starting with Chardonnay on the 23rd of February. No pressure at all to pick as the weather was kind and the fruit condition excellent.

Low crop levels meant concentrated and ripe flavours.  Both our Irongate and Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay look weighty and flavoursome.

The Syrah and Bordeaux reds are shaping up to be intense, dense, and long at this early stage.

Another vintage, another exciting selection of sustainably crafted wines. This is the stage of winemaking where the magic happens and we live for it. Here’s to 2021!

We’re lucky in many ways. There’s the great terroir of Marlborough that give our wines their special character, and the excellent wild yeast we’re blessed with in our winery.

But it is also true that we work very hard to get the best results. Like golfer Gary Player said so memorably: “The harder I practice, the luckier I get.”

Babich has certainly had lots of practise making wine in New Zealand for over 100 years.

We believe in being as hands-off as possible in our winemaking to let nature express itself. But we have found that giving nature just the right little nudge at crucial junctures can really bring out the best in our wine. The right temperature, the right yeast, the right racking regime, the right blending… it all helps.

Since 2015, we’ve increasingly been using the wild yeast in our winery. To get the fermentation going, we simply make sure the juice is at the ideal temperature, and then we wait… This yeast has proven to be very good, bringing out great flavours in the wine.

But the wine you buy in the bottle does not just come from a single ferment. Now that they understand the flavour profile of every batch of wine, our winemakers are carefully blending them to create the best combination. And the best promises to be very good in 2021, with outstanding quality across the board.

So, perhaps the really lucky ones are the people who can buy Babich wine!

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